And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn Son. She wrapped Him snugly in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. Luke 2:6-7
Last year, I put a $15 portable cell phone charger in an old iPhone box, wrapped it up, and took it to a Christmas party. During the gift exchange, imagine my friend's surprise when she opened my present to find an iPhone box. Then, imagine her disappointment when she found out that inside was only a portable cell phone charger! She learned a valuable lesson that day: gift packaging and wrapping can be deceiving. Sometimes the best gifts were poorly wrapped, and other times, gifts that we are not too excited about were wrapped really beautifully.
The circumstances surrounding Jesus' birth were anything but grand or magnificent. In fact, they were extremely humble. Luke 2 recounts the story of the birth of Jesus, who came to earth to dwell among people. It is shocking if you stop to think about it! Jesus, the Son of God, took on flesh and came to earth as the earthly son to Mary. He did not come in royal splendor, although He is the King of Kings. He was born not in a palace, but what we today would consider to be similar to a stable. He was not wrapped in the finest clothes suitable for a royal newborn, but instead, He was wrapped in very common, ordinary strips of cloth. As He slept during that first night, He did not have a special place suitable for a royal newborn to lay his head. Instead, He was placed in a manger, a feeding trough for animals.
These circumstances surrounding Jesus' birth were as ordinary and humble as can be. Yet, despite these circumstances, as He breathed His first breath on earth, heaven was touching earth. Immanuel, a name given for Jesus meaning God with us, had come. This, my friends, is the wonder of Christmas. When we could not come to Him, He came to us. The gift of Immanuel is the greatest gift we have been, or ever will be, given. God came to us, and He is with us today, tomorrow, and every day.
Merry Christmas! May you never get over the greatest gift you have ever received, wrapped in humble circumstances: Immanuel, God with us.
For some of us, Christmas Day can be so incredibly busy that we forget to take time to reflect on the miracle of Christmas: the birth of our Savior. Take some time today to get alone with God. Go on a walk, praying and thanking God for Jesus. Journal, reflecting on what the gift of Immanuel means for your life. Listen to your favorite Christmas worship song, praising God for giving us His son so that one day we might have eternal life with Him.
Read Luke 2:1-7 (NLT)
At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child.
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
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